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Regulation of Development

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) has a public web mapping site giving users to access to information on properties we own and hazard areas we regulate:

The Regulation of Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses (under Ontario Regulation 97/04)

The Regulation of Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses (under Ontario Regulation 97/04) replaces the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority's Fill, Construction and Alteration to Waterways Regulation which had been the governing set of regulations for roughly 20 years.

The conservation authority's revised regulation was part of the Red Tape Reduction Act and is designed to protect public safety from natural hazards through the issuance of permits for works close to lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands or sinkholes.

The approval of the regulation in ABCA watersheds follows a broad public consultation process that included four public information sessions held in different areas of the watershed in 2005 between August 20 and September 13, 2005. Four municipal information sessions were also held.

Extensive mapping was also undertaken as part of the regulation review process.

Under the revised regulation some properties in the watershed that were previously regulated are no longer regulated while some other properties that weren't regulated before may now be regulated. Under the previous regulations some parts of the shoreline were regulated while others were not.

The revised regulation, under the new name Regulation of Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alteration to Shorelines and Watercourses, provides consistent application to residents of all shoreline areas.

For more information on Regulation 147/06, please contact Geoff Cade or Daniel King at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or visit our staff contacts page.

Before undertaking any filling, construction or altering of watercourses, contact Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority staff or your municipality to determine if you are in a 'regulated area'.

If applicable, ABCA staff will guide applicants through a permit process that involves gathering on-site information, survey work, and providing specific conditions to reduce risk to life and property, reduce potential social disruption and protect the environment from naturally occurring flooding and erosion.

A document about the provincial regulation can be downloaded from the Conservation Ontario website.

The Ontario government approved the revised regulation for the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority Ontario Regulation 147/06, on May 9, 2006 and it was printed in the official Ontario Gazette on May 20 of that year. Prevention of loss of life and property damage from flooding and erosion, as well as enhancing natural resources, is a key mandate of a Conservation Authority and Regulation 147/06 provides a consistent approach to fulfill that mandate.

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority delivered the Fill, Construction and Alteration to Waterways Regulation starting in 1984. That legislation, as set out in Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act, enabled the ABCA to review development, filling and construction activity within:

  • Watercourses
  • Environmentally sensitive areas
  • Hazard lands
  • Flood-prone areas adjacent to creeks, rivers and municipal drains
  • Areas of slope instability due to erosion, slumping or shifting of steep bluffs or ravines

Environmental planning includes comments on significant natural areas, flood plain lands, steep slopes, erosion rates, and faulty septic systems (in portions of Middlesex County only), the need for stormwater control, buffer strips, and wildlife corridors linking existing natural areas.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority staff provide comments applicants and appropriate agencies for such things as plans of subdivision; severances; official plans; zoning bylaws; municipal drainage reports; and environmental assessments.